s I often do, I look to fine screenwriting to help frame so many issues in my public speaking / sales messaging consultancy. This morning though, I was thinking about being a citizen in the USA under a new administration. This resonated with me, and maybe will for you too: From “The American President” (1995). Head writer Aaron Sorkin:

“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”.”

So, spoiler alert for my 2017 New Years resolution: I’ll be watching CLOSELY the voting of my Senators Bill Cassidy (R), and newly elected John Kennedy (R), and my Representative Cedric Richmond (D). Honestly, being new here in New Orleans, I didn’t even know their names until this morning. Nor have I written personally to a Senator or Congressman in my 40 years of being eligible to vote.

And that changes now. Citizenship is NOT a spectator sport. It’s full contact, team participation, and I for one, plan to play my position a whole lot better. #getyourcitizenon